Review: Helen’s Necklace (Canadian Rep Theatre)

Canadian Rep Theatre presents Helen’s Necklace in Toronto that feels hazy and unanchored

Canadian Rep Theatre has chosen to produce Carole Fréchette’s Helen’s Necklace in a unique way. Typically performed by one actress as Helen and one male portraying the other characters, director Ken Gass casts three female actors in the two-hander.
The eponymous character narrates her journey through an unnamed country after she loses her “lighter-than-air” pearl necklace. The necklace is described as using invisible thread, making the pearls appear as if just scattered around Helen’s clavicle – it is an elusive and ethereal ornament. And this production follows the necklace’s lead.

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Review: The Penelopiad (Hart House)

Herstory takes on classic mythology in this Canadian-penned theatre epic onstage in Toronto

Mythology gets modern in The Penelopiad, Margaret Atwood’s alternate take on Homer’s Odyssey epic. Based on the 2005 novella of the same name, this pitch-black comic tragedy at Hart House theatre examines the life of Penelope, famed for holding court at Ithaca in her husband Odysseus’ twenty-year absence. In this version of events, she is much more than a dutifully waiting good wife.

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Review: Gods Like Us (Theatre Nidāna)

Photo of Vince Deiulis and Zazu Oke provided by the companyAn “insightful look at the moral complexity of an untold story,” now on stage in Toronto.

Most Canadian history classes, if my experience is any indication, teach very little about African involvement in the first World War – many of those important details tend to get lost under the narrative of Canada coming into its own as a nation. It’s those missing pieces in our knowledge that spurred Zazu Oke and Vince Deiulis of Theatre Nidāna to create Gods Like Us, now playing at the Factory Studio Theatre, in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended the fighting.

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Review: Older & Reckless #41 (MOonhORsE Dance Theatre)

Older and Reckless is a dance showcase for older dancers in Toronto

Older and Reckless #41 presented at Harbourfront’s Studio Theatre has everything you need, from laughs and love, to downright creepy and dark. The six work bill, curated by Claudia Moore, hosted by Tabby Johnson, is performed by some of the most celebrated older artists – as the company states, made more reckless as time goes by. Continue reading Review: Older & Reckless #41 (MOonhORsE Dance Theatre)

Review: The Pigeon (Alumnae Theatre)

Toronto playwright Chloë Whitehorn’s new play debuts at Alumnae Theatre’s Fireworks Festival

The Pigeon, presented in the Fireworks Festival at Alumnae Theatre, is a new, exciting and daring play for mature audiences. With beautiful relationships between contrasting characters, and a plot for revenge – this play will take you on a rollercoaster ride from start to finish.

Written by Chloë Whitehorn, The Pigeon follows a distressed millennial – Jegger (John Shubat), who befriends an older woman, Malone (Liz Best). Joined by a mutual hatred for Jegger’s mother, they are drawn together in a plot of revenge against her. Malone also acts as a mentor figure to Jegger, as he is about to become a young father, with his partner Amy (Marina Gomes).

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Review: The Caucasian Chalk Circle (George Brown Theatre)

Toronto’s George Brown Theatre tackles Bertolt Brecht’s classic play

George Brown Theatre delivers a stylish and thoroughly enchanting production of Bertolt Brecht’s classic of epic theatre, The Caucasian Chalk Circle—a parable of precarious justice, greed and selflessness. It tells the story of a peasant girl who rescues an abandoned baby from a recently overthrown rich governor and his wife. Continue reading Review: The Caucasian Chalk Circle (George Brown Theatre)

Review: Her Inside Life/Kill the Poor (Low Rise Productions/Leroy Street Theatre)

A double bill of George F. Walker’s plays is now on stage in Toronto

Her Inside Life and Kill the Poor, presented by Low Rise Productions and Leroy Street Theatre respectively is curious as a double bill. The two plays are from The Parkdale Palace Trilogy by celebrated Canadian playwright George F. Walker and have the right mix of contrast and similarity for the juxtaposition to be interesting. Both works are also substantial enough to be standalone pieces. Playgoers have the option of seeing the show as a double bill or independently. Continue reading Review: Her Inside Life/Kill the Poor (Low Rise Productions/Leroy Street Theatre)